Bespridannitsa (1937)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Period Film  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Russia   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Filmed in 1937, the Russian Without Dowry was released in America in 1946, one year after the death of its director, Yakov Protazanov. Produced on a far-less epic scale than most Protazanov films, this is a merciless satire of the Russian dowry system in particular and the Czarist regime in general. The heroine (Nina Alisova) is promised in marriage to a bureaucrat (Victor Balikhin), who is interested only in receiving the girl's dowry. Maintaining a gently comic tone throughout most of the proceedings, the story dovetails almost imperceptibly into tragedy. The musical score is based upon Tchaikovsky's Pathetique, with a few Russian folk songs woven in.

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Keywords

bureaucracy, dowry, hero, marriage, marriage-arranged